This enigmatic mammal has a varied diet of leaves, roots and fruits (2), which are uncovered by probing the wet muddy ground or soft sand (1), as well as small mammals, which are caught and consumed by adult babirusas (2). The Sulawesi babirusa has remarkably strong jaws and teeth to be able to deal with this array of food, and it can reportedly crack hard nuts with ease (2). On the island of Sulawesi, deposits of salt can be found near hot springs and volcanic vents. The Sulawesi babirusa visits these salt licks where it spends time chewing on rocks, ingesting soil, and drinking water from the hot spring (6). Such peculiar behaviour is likely to be a way of the babirusa obtaining sufficient sodium, although the salt lick also acts as a venue for many social activities, such as courtship and combat (6).
The Sulawesi babirusa is a rather social animal, thought to live in groups of up to eight individuals, and is active during daylight hours. As well as around salt licks, the babirusa can be seen congregating around water and wallows (2). It bites off branches of leaves under which to shelter from the rain (2), and there are reports that the babirusa also constructs nests in which to sleep (5), although it has also been said that they sleep in simple depressions in the ground (2).
To give birth, females construct a rather defined nest; measuring up to three metres long and 25 centimetres deep, this nest is formed from branches torn from trees and bushes (2). A litter of normally one or two young are born after a gestation of 155 to 158 days. In captivity, female Sulawesi babirusas have given birth to young at all times of the year, although in the wild, due to differences in diet and environment, females are likely to reproduce much les frequently (2). Captive individuals have also indicated that young become sexually mature at five to ten months of age, and that an individual may live for up to 24 years (2).